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Local businesses participate in nationwide event

by Courtney Deeren - Lifestyles Editor
Wed, Dec 4th 2019 03:00 pm
The Brockport Merchants Association participated in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. Shops throughout the village and across the country had specials on its merchandise and/or promotions for customers on Saturday and throughout the weekend. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis
The Brockport Merchants Association participated in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. Shops throughout the village and across the country had specials on its merchandise and/or promotions for customers on Saturday and throughout the weekend. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis

After the infamous Black Friday shopping experience wherein shoppers in 2019 spent $7.4 billion online, according to CNBC, local businesses in villages across the nation opened its doors to its own deals for Small Business Saturday. 

Here in Brockport, several of the local shops had promotions throughout the weekend. Many began on Friday, offering deals for the shopping holiday. This continued on through Saturday when those merchants on Main Street and the surrounding areas opened for the day. 

President of the Brockport Merchants Association (BMA), Judy Andrews said in preparation the association ordered supplies and materials from local small businesses and decorated with candy canes to make it look more festive. 

Many of the businesses also promoted the day on their social media. This was something important to Upstate Vintage Market Owner Heidi Vogt who was active on social media the whole week leading up to Small Business Saturday. 

“It’s [Small Business Saturday] different for us because we are in Clarkson on Ridge Road,” Vogt said. “In the village when people are walking around, it’s easier to go into the stores; we are out of the way and they have the Brockport Merchants Association. We don’t have that in Clarkson, so we do a lot of that on our own.” 

While it is out of the way, Vogt said the store had a good turn out. 

“We had a good crowd in on Saturday,” Vogt said. 

Andrews, who owns Lightways, echoed this as well. 

“We were busy from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Andrews said. “We saw a lot of old customers and new customers.” 

Many small business owners would agree this day helps out significantly. 

“We do depend on Small Business Saturday to boost into the profit margin,” Andrews said.

Vogt also talked about supporting local businesses as opposed to big box stores. 

“[Small Business Saturday] is huge,” Vogt said. “People don’t worry about retail giants. We are an antique co-op so it’s for people looking for things to resell. It directly affects the community.”

Both Andrews and Vogt touched on the community’s involvement in Small Business Saturday. 

“It really pulls the community together,” Vogt said. “Everyone promotes each other; they mention where they’ve been and a lot of businesses comes together.” 

“The community really rallies together,” Andrews said. “It was really successful.” 

Unfortunately, one storefront was unable to be open on Small Business Saturday. 

“We weren’t open Saturday because the person who works weekends here had a family emergency and was unable to come in,” BMA Secretary and Owner of Kratom Jackie Chianlfoni said. 

Small Business Saturday kicks off the holiday season and will be followed by Open House Weekend on Dec. 6 and 7. During Open House Weekend, holiday passports will be handed out to customers. The passport program will be running from Dec. 6 to Dec. 15. 

“About 20 downtown businesses participate,” Andrews said. “There is a passport customers can pick up that gets a discount and then they can enter the filled out passport at Lightways for a prize drawing.” 

This will all be happening during the weekend of the Holiday Lights Parade on Main Street. The annual parade will begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. 

Among the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is easy to overlook the small businesses in your local village, but many people depend on the community’s support during this season.

 

Photo of the Week

Taken by Vinny Croce:
Staff Photographer

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